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FCC: 33% of Guam cell sites remain disabled largely due to power outage

Updated: Jun 10, 2023

IT&E says 77% of its cell sites operational; Docomo still assessing network damage

By Pacific Island Times News Staff

Two weeks since typhoon Mawar ferociously attacked Guam, 33 percent of the island's cell sites remain disabled primarily due to the protracted power outage, the Federal Communication Commission said.

In a June 8 status report, the FCC said 108 of Guam's 327 cell sites are still out of service due to damage, transport limitation, and power failure. The FCC said at least 129 cell sites are operating on back-up generators.

"The number of cell site outages in a specific area does not necessarily correspond to the availability of wireless service to consumers in that area," FCC said.

"Wireless networks are often designed with numerous, overlapping cell sites that provide maximum capacity and continuity of service even when an individual site is inoperable," FCC said.

"In addition, wireless providers may use temporary facilities, such as cells-onwheels, increase power at operational sites, initiate roaming agreements, or take other actions to maintain service to affected consumers during emergencies or other events that result in cell site outages," the agency added.

The Guam Power Authority reported that 71 percent of the system load has been restored and 51.4 percent of its customers have electricity as of Friday afternoon.

Guam carriers continue fixing damaged infrastructure and deploying generators to cell sites in areas where local power is not available yet.

"This is ongoing islandwide and may result in intermittent service interruptions," IT&E said, while reporting that 77 percent of cell sites were operational as of Friday.

“We have not lost our determination to provide the best possible communications to subscribers," said Jim Oehlerking, president of IT&E. "We’ll continue to put in the hard and necessary work to restore and strengthen our network. We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to subscribers for their patience and understanding."

Meanwhile, Docomo Pacific said it has set up a special task force to do an islandwide physical damage assessment of its network infrastructure.

"Currently, our engineers are utilizing the assessment data to create a comprehensive plan to communicate our restoration efforts to our valued customers, first responders, and government agencies," the carrier said


"Restoring our entire mobile service network continues to be our top priority to ensure our island is connected. When a mobile cell site is powered, the field operations teams will ensure the connectivity to the cell site is operational. Once our mobile cell sites are operational, we post an update on our media channels," Docomo added.

GTA TeleGuam said a majority of its cell sites are operational, and one is restored each day.

"Many of our sites are still on generator. This means if a generator has issues or needs maintenance, sites will not be operational during that time," GTA said.

Guam carriers continue to offer relief to subscribers during the crisis.

BEAM Home Internet subscribers will receive 50% off their services for June.
Unlimited Data is available for all Postpaid subscribers, free of charge.  
Tethering is available for all Postpaid subscribers, free of charge.  
Service suspension due to nonpayment has been postponed until June 30.
Finance charges and late fees have been waived for May and June.

Provides ervice credits for customers upon request and review'
No disconnections until further notice! We got you covered. 
No data caps for all our mobile data customers. 
Prepaid customers, we've got you covered too! Stay connected even without load.

According to FCC, cable and wireline companies reported 2,778 subscribers who lost access to telephone, television and/or Internet services.

The FCC said one local TV station (KGTF), three FM stations (KSTO, KISH and K290CR) and one AM station (KTWG) remain out of service.

The FCC said it is inclined to grant special temporary authority (STA) to permit immediate or temporary operation of certain radio facilities during emergencies or other urgent conditions, as well as waivers to support emergency communications and service restoration:

· May 25,, Office of International Relations granted STA to Trans World Radio Pacific (KTWR).

· May 28, Media Bureau granted emergency STA to Nimitz Carrier Group to broadcast on commercial FM in Guam until May 31. On May 30 Media Bureau granted an extension until June 30.

· May 29, Media Bureau granted STA to Good News Broadcasting Corporation (KSDA-FM).

· May 30,, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Mobility Division, conditionally granted an emergency waiver of sections 96.67(c)(2) and (3) of the Commission’s rules governing the Citizens Broadband Radio Service.

· May 31, Media Bureau granted STA to Guam Education Telecommunications Corporation (KGTF).

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